About

Live here. Speak, hear.

The Manifesto of the International Brusseler is the final output of Live here. Speak, hear. This innovative democratic participation project offered International Brusselers an opportunity to have their say on the regional policies that affect their daily lives. The manifesto will be presented to Members of the Brussels Parliament on 28 April 2022, the Day of the International Brusseler. That will mark the end of Live here. Speak, hear. but it’s the just the beginning for #BrusselsVoice!

Why?

International Brusselers make up a third of our Region’s population, and they are a vital part of our economy and cultural life. They build lives, careers and homes in Brussels, but they are currently unable to vote in regional elections to select the Parliament and Government of the Brussels-Capital Region.

This democratic deficit is unfair for International Brusselers who want to speak up and share their ideas. It also means that regional policy is made without considering the opinions and concerns of a huge segment of the population. Participation projects like this allow International Brusselers to raise their voice, say what matters to them and share their proposals for the Region.

Who?

This project was led by the International Brusselers who signed up on our digital platform and attended the policy development workshops. It was implemented by commissioner.brussels following an initiative by Pascal Smet, Brussels State Secretary for European and international relations.

Participation was open to all International Brusselers: residents of Brussels with non-Belgian citizenship. However, the Regional Government gives commissioner.brussels a particular mission to facilitate relationships between regional authorities and people who live in Brussels because they work in the international sector. Outreach and promotion therefore mainly targeted this group. Nevertheless, the data collected about participants show a real diversity in terms of gender, age, employment situation and nationality, with a balanced participation of EU and non-EU citizens.

The website and the full Manifesto of the International Brusseler offer a fascinating snapshot of this community’s relationship with the Region, as well as a set of concrete solutions to key policy challenges. It will be of interest to regional policymakers, International Brusselers who want to see how their community is expressing itself, and anyone interested in democratic participation or the future of Brussels.

Our Aims

With this project, a new democratic space has been created. The project partners take no position on the actual proposals in the manifesto, but we were proud to support International Brusselers in their development. We now pass them on to the regional Government and Parliament for consideration and debate.

Looking ahead, preparations are underway for the launch of a more long-term and stable framework for International Brusselers to participate in policymaking in the Brussels-Capital Region.

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